From the Hebrew Scriptures
Job 12:7 ”But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
We had an amazing “fly over” at the CWW today. It lasted much longer than the short video above. There were many flocks of geese that flew overhead, heading south. It is an awesome experience to hear them “honk” and to see them fly with such precision, in such disciplined formation.
As I watched them, I wondered what they had to offer our gathering. And this is what I found.
Lesson #1. When geese fly as a flock, they always fly in a ”V” formation. Here is why. As each goose flaps its wings, it creates “lift” for the bird behind it. By flying in a “V” formation, the flock adds 71% more flying range with the same amount of energy spent.
People who benefit from the support of others, get where they are going quicker and easier than when they travel alone. We all know there is nothing more demoralizing, nothing which saps the energy from us more quickly, than being alone. So the old adage goes “Birds of a feather, flock together”. It is important we that travel together when we feel alone.
Lesson #2. When a goose falls out of formation, the drag and resistance increase and their energy supply, decreases. If you are experiencing innocent suffering, as the fable of a man named Job did, now is not the time to fly alone. Get back into a spiritual formation that takes advantage of the uplifting power of others who accompany you
Lesson #3. When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose takes its place at the point position. We can’t always lead; we must also learn how to follow, especially when our physical and spiritual resources are exacerbated.
Lesson #4. Geese never fly silent. They use the constant honking as a way to encourage the birds in front of them to keep going; they remind the birds in front of them that they are still there, supporting them. There is nothing more demoralizing than silence. Have you ever tried to lead a group who just sits there? It can’t be done. It is so important that we take time to “honk” to each other words of encouragement, appreciation, and support. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said: In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. If someone is tired and feeling alone, it is not the time to be silent.
Lesson #5. When a goose gets sick or wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow their member down to help provide protection. They stay with this member of the flock until he/she is able to fly again or dies. Only then do they leave to join another formation, or to rejoin their own flock.
The geese teach us that nothing good happens when people fall out of formation, and attempt to go it alone in life. Pray today that people of faith will be gathered into one formation, that flies by the lessons the geese teach us from above.
Remember…G/d blesses you.